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Acta Physiol Hung. 2012 Jun;99(2):173-84. doi: 10.1556/APhysiol.99.2012.2.11.

In vitro suppression of lymphocyte activation in patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis and pollen-related asthma by cetirizine or azelastine in combination with ginkgolide B or astaxanthin.

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  • 1Kuwait University, Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, Kuwait.


Novel strategies are evaluated for management of allergic rhinitis and asthma in patients co-afflicted with both disorders. It is hypothesized that the platelet activating factor receptor antagonist ginkgolide B (GB) and the carotenoid antioxidant astaxanthin (ASX) interact with antihistamines cetirizine dihydrochloride (CTZ) and azelastine (AZE) to potentiate their ability to downregulate potentially pathological immune activation. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from asthmatics and healthy subjects, cultured 24 hours with 50 μg/ml phytohemaglutinin (PHA) or PHA plus each drug are analyzed by flow cytometry for expression of CD25+ or HLA-DR+ by CD3+ (T cells). Results are reported as stimulation indices for CD3+CD25+ (SICD3+CD25+) and CD3+HLA-DR+ (SICD3+HLADR+) cells in cultures treated with PHA alone, versus cultures treated with both PHA and drugs. Optimal suppression of activated cells was observed in cultures stimulated with ASX 10-6 M + CTZ 10-6 M (SICD3+CD25+, p = 0.016; SICD3+HLADR, p = 0.012); ASX 10-6 M + AZE 10-6 M (SICD3+CD25+, p = 0.012; SICD3+HLADR, p = 0.015); GB 10-6 M + CTZ 10-6 M (SICD3+CD25+, p = 0.024, SICD3+HLADR+, p = 0.019). Results demonstrate improved activity of antihistamines by 2 phytochemicals, suggesting dosing strategies for animal trials of ASX- or GB-augmented formulations for seasonal allergic rhinitis and asthma.

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